Cheese? Canning? Meg is making cheese and Laura and Megan are canning? Wow. You two are brave. Since we are all friends here, I suppose it is okay for me to confess my single greatest food fear. Now, while you may be tempted to laugh... I just want to note that if you ever eat at my house you will be glad I have this fear.
Ready for it? This is straight out of my nightmares (just ask my husband - he has to listen to me every night after we have company for dinner). I am afraid that I will make a beautiful dinner, give someone food poisoning, and they will die. Yes, I am afraid I will kill someone with a food-borne illness. E. Coli, Salmonella, Botulism.... etc. As a result, I own more food thermometers than anyone I know (yes, I use them. I told you before that I am a nerd). So things like canning and cheesemaking have always scared me.
Sourdough doesn't scare me... even though the starter is immortal and lives in my fridge. I figure it gets baked anyway, so anything bad will probably die in the oven. (Seriously, if your starter turns pink or starts smelling "off" you just need to toss it and start over...) But cheese and canning, well, I have fear. Stupid and groundless? Yes. Terrifying? Well, no. But it still scares me!
So Megan and Laura, I can't wait for you to can and make cheese and tell me all about it. I want step by step instructions. With pictures. Or at least the name of a good book with pictures and all that jazz. The fact that you two are medical professionals and will certainly recognize the early signs of a toxic illness is only a side benefit. Teach me!
PS - Here is a great recipe for homemade muesli. My husband, a professional eater, brought it back from New Zealand.
1 C honey
1/2 C brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
1 C oil
Melt in a pan until even. Don't boil. Stir in the following:
6 C rolled oats
1 C oat bran
1 C coconut
1 C wheat germ
Cook in a low oven (250 degrees) for about 1 hour. I put it in a cookie sheet with a rim (officially known as a jellyroll pan) Stir every ten minutes. It will still be a little moist when you pull it out and will dry in the pan. You can add raisens, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, mixed fruit, etc.
If you are more in the mood for chewy granola bars - check out this link.